Finally, A Place As Obsessed with Chocolate As You Are
Thereís Nothing Like Chocolate and
true chocolate connoisseur knows the world can be broken down into a few
delectable morsels. There are places that make good chocolate and places that
make great chocolate. And then there is
Remember Willy Wonka and his
chocolate factory? Imagine if he expanded into a chocolate city Ė one might even
say a chocolate paradise - and youíre starting to get the idea. The world-class
the Aztecs discovered chocolate, and
the production of chocolate is an art, so eating it in
The sweet and sexy union of chocolate
and hazelnuts was hit upon by necessity. When, during the Napoleonic wars a
naval blockade made it difficult to obtain cocoa, an enterprising local
chocolate maker decided to stretch his supply by mixing it into a paste with
these slightly sweet, mellow nuts that grow in abundance throughout
The result of this entrepreneurial spirit is Gianduja (pronounced jan- doo-yah) a luscious concoction that is the progenitor of more familiar addictions. Take, for example, Nutella, that creamy spread of the gods that turns everything into a mouth-watering dessert. Or consider the foil-wrapped ecstasy that is Ferrero Rocher. These are the ancestors of gianduja. The explosion of pleasure in every bite is sparked by the gentle, lingering warmth of toasted hazelnuts.
To be authentic, gianduja must be crafted according to exacting standards and contain only the finest ingredients. Today there are still chocolate houses that insist on sticking to an old-fashioned, handmade method of making the paste, ensuring that at least 34 percent of the mix is hazelnuts. Any less and the mixture is considered not just inferior but in fact, not gianduja.
And not just any hazelnuts will do.
The nuts must be the prized Tonda Gentile variety, cultivated only in the
ancient hills of
For a taste of this tradition, stop into family-owned shops like Guido Gobino, one of Turinís highest-rated chocolatiers, or Peyrano, where this family of confectioners offers 90 different kinds of chocolate along with swoon-inducing cookies and pastries. Stratta offers tempting displays of candies, chocolate, maroons and pralines amid precious crystal and wood; and Gertosio, a tiny cake shop is famed for its chocolate and hazelnut torta sabauda. For those who want to sample many, the city offers a special ChocoPass. http://www.turismotorino.org/index.php?id=688&navCmd=reset
time-honored tradition in this lively and food-obsessed community is opining
about how to properly make bicerin (Pronounced: bi-che-rin)
and who makes the very best in town. An ethereal mix of melted chocolate, coffee
and milk, bicerin is practically synonymous with
in the 18th century, the bicerin gets its name from the Italian
word for little
integral to daily life in
As the locals will tell you: where you choose to sip your bicerin might say a lot about who you are, so choose your haunts accordingly. There are, of course, the parlors of the older, established society, and the raucous debating societies-cum-cafes where the university set hangs out. Try, for example, Fiorio, established 1780, which is said to be famed for its conversation. One taste of its gianduja sundae, a rich chocolate ice cream, crunchy hazelnuts and cream, and you might suspect its popularity has less intellectual roots.
the newest, latest and hippest in chocolate sipping sensations, try a fragrant,
steaming hot chocolate from Pasticceria Abbrate in via
The smell of chocolate is not just an